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Bird Proofing in Suffolk and Essex

Bird Proofing in Suffolk and Essex

Seagulls and feral pigeons are a major nuisance and also create a health hazard. So, if you have a colony of birds nesting on your property it’s time to call on the bird pest control experts in Ipswich, Colchester and the surrounding areas of Essex and Suffolk, who can offer professional bird proofing to put a stop to the problem.

Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions are experienced in dealing with all types of pests including cockroaches, bed bugs, wasps, rodents, and birds. We offer a variety of bird proofing solutions for a range of domestic and commercial properties in the Suffolk and Essex area including warehouses, educational premises, town centre buildings, country homes and high rise buildings.

When you think about pest control in Ipswich and the surrounding area, feral pigeons and gulls may not be the first species that come to mind. However, the fact is that colonies of these birds pose a real health hazard, and this needs to be tackled before the numbers grow still further. Dealing with these types of birds yourself can be tricky and dangerous; So, to carry out full bird-proofing and get rid of the problem, the best solution is to call in the experts.

Nesting birds can cause a problem for many different types of businesses and organisations, including schools, hotels and food shops. The droppings are unsightly and carry bacteria, while the birds themselves are noisy and may pester people in the area.

Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions is a pest control company based in the Ipswich area with the expert knowledge and experience needed to deal with bird problems. We will come out quickly –on the same day if an emergency appointment is requested – and provide a discreet and effective service, using unmarked vehicles if you prefer.

Find out more about our expert bird proofing services for businesses and organisations in the Suffolk area, including schools and high rise buildings. Get in touch now for professional bird proofing solutions, or click on the link above to find out more about pigeon removal for homes, businesses and local authorities.

Problems Caused by Seagulls & Pigeons

Yes. Seagulls, also known as gulls, avoid steep pitches and instead are more likely to nest on flat surfaces that are high up, such as warehouse roofs, ledges and air conditioning units. They live between 20 – 30 years and return to the same place to nest, so their colonies keep on growing. Gulls are increasingly moving into urban areas, which is why pest control, especially in towns such as Ipswich and Manningtree is so essential.

The months of May and June are when the gulls pose the biggest threat as this is the time of year that they nest and raise their chicks. When their eggs hatch, the gulls become more aggressive and start swooping down on people to protect their young. They foul cars, which can damage the paintwork, and scavenge through bins and waste tips to hunt for food, creating a litter problem which can attract rodents.

The life expectancy of pigeons will vary greatly from 3 – 15 years and this depends on many factors including natural predation and human interference. It is normally for 3-5 years. However, unlike seagulls, they breed all year round and pose a major health risk as their droppings are not only unpleasant to see, but also carry germs. Another problem is that when their youngsters fledge, which is when their wing muscles are developed enough so they can leave their nest, they can infest premises with biting insects such as poultry mites and bird fleas.

Pigeons prefer to be sheltered from the wind and nest on the face of buildings in nooks, crevices and roof voids, particularly in the backs of shops. Pest control is also required in residential areas in Ipswich and Colchester, particularly in apartment blocks where pigeons can be found resting on balconies and in roof voids. And, in the lighter, summer months, they can wake residents by cooing in the early hours of the morning, which is extremely annoying.

Feral pigeons are descended from domestic pigeons, which were themselves originally bred from rock doves, and the three species can all interbreed. Years ago people used to go to feed huge flocks of pigeons at places like London’s Trafalgar Square, where they were regarded as a tourist attraction. However, it is now realised the birds are a hazard to the public through the germs they carry, and feeding is discouraged.

Pigeons can cause a problem for businesses if they take up residence there, so it is important to get rid of them. They breed all year round, as many as six times a year, so you could soon be facing a large flock if you do not act early on. Pigeons can also contaminate products, for instance in a factory setting. The birds carry diseases including psittacosis, an infectious condition which can cause fevers and even pneumonia. Another problem is that their nests and droppings attract insects, such as fleas, and so can lead to a second pest problem on your site.

Gulls are another type of bird increasingly requiring pest control, especially in coastal towns such as Ipswich, Felixstowe, Manningtree and Clacton. They are traditionally known as “seagulls”, but have now increasingly moved into urban settings. Herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls often nest on roofs, ledges and balconies, where they may damage tiles and can block gutters and even chimney flues.

These birds nest from May onwards and often pose a particular problem during the summer months when they are raising their chicks and become more aggressive. Passers-by may often find gulls swooping down on them in a bid to protect their offspring, and this can be intimidating. Gulls’ screaming calls also cause a noise nuisance, and, as with pigeons, their droppings are unsightly.

Bird Proofing Experts

Wild birds, in general, are protected by law, so it is important to ensure you only take legally sanctioned measures against feral populations. This is one good reason to bring in experts rather than trying to deal with the problem yourself. We at Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions have full knowledge of the relevant legislation and will ensure that all action taken is correctly licensed.

Another reason to call in the experts is that trying to reach nesting sites yourself, for instance by climbing on a roof, can be dangerous. Our expert personnel will ensure that there is no risk either to your staff or to the public while old nests are removed. We start by carrying out a site survey to assess the damage and examine how widespread the problem is. We then remove used nesting materials and droppings and clean all affected areas.  Because of the risk of bacteria spreading, it is vital that this is handled by the professionals.

Once the old nests and fouling/guano have been removed and the areas treated with biocide, the next stage is to bird-proof the premises, usually through bird wires or spikes. Bird wires are a humane and discreet option, with wires attached to posts at different heights to deter pigeons and gulls from perching there. These wires are almost invisible and so won’t spoil the look of your building. They can be fitted to many different types of premises, including historic buildings, and are especially useful for long ledges.

Bird spikes are another humane method and ideal for areas with a heavy population of pigeons or gulls. They consist of networks of angled steel or plastic wires which make it hard for the birds to land but do not harm them.

High-quality bird netting is another popular and humane method of bird control and can be used in a wide range of areas, from agricultural buildings to transport hubs, such as train stations and bus depots.

Similarly, Optical Bird Gel, otherwise known as Bird-free Fire Gel, is another good option as it is non-toxic and does not harm birds.  It creates the illusion of flames to birds, thus preventing them from landing on your premises and fouling.  The substance is invisible from the ground – so it won’t affect the appearance of buildings – and lasts for up to two years.

If it is not possible to bird-proof the premises effectively, then a series of humane culls could be considered, carried out by a trained marksman.

Tackling Bird Proofing Work on High Rise Buildings

Tackling bird proofing on high rise buildings in Ipswich and its surrounding areas is a risky business, so we carry out a full assessment in advance of every job we do.

Bird proofing work on high rise buildings can be done in several ways, depending on accessibility. In most cases, staff wearing safety harnessing stand on cherry pickers to apply netting and spikes.

Another alternative is to construct scaffolding to provide a safe platform to stand on, or we can use safety abseilers. Abseilers are generally used when the access to the exterior of the building is limited and lorries are restricted from parking outside, leaving insufficient room for cherry pickers or scaffolding.

Is There an Alternative to Netting and Spikes?

Yes, if our customers feel spikes or netting are too unsightly we can offer another option: the use of Fire Gel, otherwise known as Optical Bird Gel. This is extremely effective as it creates the illusion of flames which stops birds landing on your building. As the gel can’t be seen from the ground, it is much more aesthetically pleasing than other methods. However, the main drawback is that it is not as long-lasting: the gel may need to be replaced every two years or so.

Addressing the Problems of Gulls and Pigeons – A Recent Case Study

The only way to tackle the population of gulls and pigeons, which are protected by law, is to bring in Ipswich based pest control experts such as Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions. We offer a variety of bird control measures and here is just one example of a recent study in Ipswich at premises above a shop on Buttermarket Street, Ipswich.

Work such as this can take between one and two days to complete, depending on the size of the area to address, and the location. In this particular case, bird proofing was used to prevent pigeons roosting on the premises at the back of a shop.
Bird Proofing in Essex & Suffolk

The first step was to install spikes on the guttering and to thoroughly clean the area, ridding it of droppings which were not only hazardous but also affected the look of the building (see picture 1).
Bird Proofing Suffolk & Essex

The next step, illustrated by picture 2 shows the wiring that we strung up to surround the site to create a readymade frame.
Bird Proofing

In the final stage, picture 3, pigeon netting was attached to the wireframe to prevent the pigeons nesting.

Our bird pest control client was delighted with the results and said:

I am a landlord of a commercial property in Ipswich town centre which was suffering from a pigeon problem.  I called Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions, who provided a fast, efficient and professional service at a good price.  They thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the whole area, including the gutters and floor area below, and removed all the waste from site.  Netting and spikes were then installed to prevent future problems. 

I was delighted with the results and would definitely use Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions again and would also recommend their services to anybody else requiring bird-proofing work or help with bird control.  A first-class and friendly service.

About Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions

When there is a need for pest control and bird proofing, Ipswich households and businesses can always call on our expertise. We serve customers across Suffolk and Essex and deal with a wide range of pests, including pigeons, gulls, wasps, rats and mice. Get in touch now to find out more.

Contact Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions today for professional pigeon pest control services. Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions have achieved Accredited Membership status of the National Pest Technicians Association. This means that we have proven our credentials by passing a detailed audit of our premises, working practices, equipment and training. We carry public liability insurance and have to undergo regular, ongoing auditing to ensure a continued high level of service.